EverQuest II: Weekly Developer Diaries
EQII: Rise of Kunark Developer Diaries - Tradeskills, Part II

Dana Massey | 16 Oct 2007 21:25
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I was looking through some old letters I wrote to family while I was in that position and I came across the following anecdote from work. Completely true, I swear -- not a "friend of a friend" urban myth, I genuinely had this happen and have actually held the laptop in question. What I wrote in the letter is as follows:

So this guy, one of our sales reps, had his house burgled. Being naturally somewhat paranoid for the next few weeks, he took extra care to hide anything valuable out of sight when he left the house. The next Friday evening, rather than leaving his laptop out on the table when he went down to the pub, he decided to tuck it out of sight. The first place that came to mind (god knows what was going through that mind) was .... the oven.

So, he slides the laptop into the oven and heads down to the pub for Friday night drinks. Comes back some time after midnight, feeling rather hungry as you do, and decides to make himself a snack before going to bed. Turns on the oven to preheat it so he can put in a meat pie. Of course, he forgot the oven was not empty ....

By the time he opened the oven to put the pie in, the laptop's bottom was pretty melted, and the plastic came away from laptop onto the oven shelf like cheesy pizza strings. In the morning he cut away all the bits of melted plastic and, amazingly, the laptop still actually worked - so he didn't mention it to anybody but kept using it. The catch that held the battery in was melted too, so the battery kept falling out, and the laptop wouldn't latch closed either, and it was naked metal on the bottom of the laptop where the plastic had stuck to the oven, but it worked.

It was only when he left the company and had to return the laptop that the true story came out, and I received a rather sad looking laptop with a melted hole in the bottom.

Yes, tradeskills certainly represents a new set of problems and a new set of challenges ... but sometimes as they say, a change is as good as a holiday!

Monday morning also brought with it the traditional Monday morning tradeskill cookies for the EQII team - every couple of weeks I bake up a batch on the weekend and bring them in. At first, it was a great way to lure people into my office to meet them, since sometimes it's hard to get to know all the faces when people stay in their offices or cubicles focused entirely on their work. By now, I've met most people on the team -- or at least, all the ones who can be enticed by cookies -- but it is still nice to bring them in and help people de-stress a little. Gallenite made at least 4 visits and consumed at leats half a dozen cookies today; Ilucide, who is feeling particularly overworked at the moment, had 4 or 5; and Lotus, still hard at work finishing up the character art, took some back to his desk to last the afternoon. It does occur to me that if I ever get a bad egg or something, I could wipe out the entire dev team with accidental food poisoning in just one day -- let's hope that never happens...

Of course, if we believe today's xkcd comic (link: http://xkcd.com/323/) (and I always believe what xkcd comics tells me) I should possibly be providing alcoholic cookies. But that's probably not appropriate in the workplace ... or at least not till closer to the deadline!

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